Gerrard wanted more goals
Following Rangers’ 6-1 thrashing of Hibernian on Sunday, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has said that he was disappointed that his team didn’t score more goals.
Rangers went into the new Scottish Premiership season as clear second favourites with sports betting companies behind reigning champions Celtic, but their win against Hibs maintained their perfect start, and they are matched with Neil Lennon’s side with six points apiece after two games.
Veteran striker Jermain Defoe was the hero for the Glasgow side, recording a hat-trick as Rangers took full advantage of the second-half sending off of Sean Mackie. They ended up having 34 shots on goal, but speaking to the media, Gerrard said that his team could have scored more:
“Their defence has had a really tough ninety minutes today and that’s the way it’s got to look [for us]. I’m actually disappointed we didn’t score more. Every time we went forward, we looked dangerous.”
Rangers had the better of the first half, scoring twice through Defoe, but Hibs were still in the contest, thanks to a goal from Daryl Horgan just before half-time. Paul Heckingbottom’s side were growing in confidence at the start of the second half, but their chances were virtually ended by a second yellow card for Mackie, who handled the ball at the edge of the Hibs penalty area.
Following Mackie’s dismissal, Heckingbottom initially replaced Horgan with a defender, but subsequently brought on another attacker in Florian Kamberi to play alongside Christian Doidge. The attacking move backfired, however, as Rangers took full advantage of their one-man advantage. Defoe completed an impressive hat-trick on 74 minutes, while Alfredo Morelos, who came on to replace Defoe, scored twice, and Sheyi Ojo was on hand to score the sixth goal.
Defoe’s performance was also an illustration of how effective he can still be at the age of 36. He had been brought into the team as first-choice striker Morelos was rested following Rangers’ 4-2 victory against Midtjylland in their midweek Europa League qualifier, and his sharpness was the difference early on as he was the first to react to a loose ball in the box following an Ojo long-range effort to give Rangers the lead. Gerrard also paid tribute to Defoe’s efforts, saying that his healthy lifestyle and hunger for goals meant that the striker’s age was not a factor.
Words: Josh Dixon